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What do anticyclists want?


It is clear what pro-cycle campaigners are asking for - to go about our daily lives without intimidation, and without our lives and property being endangered for the perceived convenience of others.

It is not so clear what anticycling campaigners are arguing for. Are they suggesting that cyclists deserve to die for being so contrary, or are they merely arguing that the engineering profession should deny access to safe, convenient infrastructure for those who travel on two wheels ? Is this the moral high ground that Mr Cooper aspires to (NCE 8 June)?

As for statistics, does Mr Cooper really expect us to believe that cyclists pose a greater threat to pedestrians than motor vehicles? Even if we take his figures at face value the threat to pedestrians from cyclists (quoted as 2.2 killed or seriously injured/100 M km) pales in comparison with the risk to cyclists when those pedestrians get back in their cars (89 ksi/100M km).

It is extremely rare for a pedestrian to die as a result of a collision with a cyclist. 1997 was an exceptionally bad year in which there were six pedestrian deaths - but this was just 0.6% of the total.

The point about insurance is entirely irrelevant - insurance protects the driver from the need to compensate accident victims out of his own pocket, it does not protect the victim. It is also untrue - members of the Cyclists Touring Club have had automatic insurance and legal cover for many years and most other cycling clubs and organisations are following suit.

Statistically, cyclists are the least likely of all road users to be found at fault in an accident.

At present the rules on overtaking of cyclists, especially at junctions, are almost universally ignored.

Contrary to Mr Fitzell's suggestion there is almost no danger of drivers being prosecuted for this sort of driving.

If you are careless enough to kill a cyclist and unlucky enough to be fined, it will only cost you around £250. It is one of the cheapest crimes you can commit and will cost you far less than killing grouse for sport.

Alasdair DV Massie, CTC North Herts Right to Ride Representative, alasdair_massie@lineone. net

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